Get Goosebumps With R.L. Stine Webcast and Discussion Guide
Get spooked this Halloween with some Goosebumps! Former New York Times reporter Brian Stelter interviews bestselling children's author R.L. Stine in Scholastic's Get Goosebumps With R.L. Stine Webcast.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
In the Get Goosebumps With R.L. Stine Webcast, Stine sits down to discuss his craft with reporter Brian Stelter from The New York Times at Scholastic headquarters in New York City. As the creator of the wildly popular Goosebumps and Goosebumps HorrorLand series, R.L. Stine, one of the most successful children’s authors in history, is truly a master at building suspense.
Hosting a classroom webcast viewing is a perfect opportunity to get kids excited about reading and writing by giving them a chance to dive deeply into Stine’s writing process. Here are a few strategies to support your classroom’s experience and participation in the Get Goosebumps With R.L. Stine Webcast.
Before the Webcast
Setting the Mood and Getting the Most Out of the Webcast
Schedule your Halloween party to coincide with the webcast, and decorate your classroom. Use black construction paper to create cut-out bats and spiders to display throughout the room. Colored light bulbs create an eerie glow — green, for Monster blood, works particularly well. Brown grocery bags can make great tombstones. Just write “….Lies Here” in magic marker on the bag and place it over the back of your chair.
Mood Food Is Always a Hit
Bring in grapes for eyeballs, or gummy worms and other gooey snacks, and a special concoction made of red soda and raisins.
Ask students to design a spooky notebook to collect writing tips from R. L. Stine while watching the webcast. Creating a cool and creepy journal is easy. Students can take their own notebooks and cover the front with cut-outs of scary creatures (bats, ghosts, spiders, whatever gives them chills!) or draw their own slimy scenes and characters.
Play the Pass the Story Game
Think of a spooky story idea, and write the first sentence of the story on a blank sheet, then pass it to a student, who writes a few sentences, then folds the sheet down so that only their last sentence is visible. Each successive student then writes a few sentences, continuing to fold the paper so that only the last sentence they wrote is visible. Finally, unfold the entire sheet and read your class’s unique work of fiction!
Think Up a New Goosebumps Title and Story Line
Ask students to choose their favorite book cover, then write their own new book title based on the cover image. Or have them create a new cover image of their own, and a title to go with it. Then have them write a brief synopsis of their new story idea.
During the Webcast
On the day of the webcast, instruct students to dress up as their favorite scary (or not so scary!) Goosebumps character. During the webcast, have your students listen for and record in their journal R.L. Stine’s tips on writing and creating his fantastic series so they will be ready to discuss those tips as a class later. Another option is to create a classroom journal; kids can write their own stories to make this compilation. Later they can check the journal out individually, or it can be shared as a class.
After the Webcast Viewing
Discuss the webcast and help students cement insights concerning R. L. Stine’s writing process. Talk about their favorite characters or scenes and discuss what they like best about the Goosebumps series.
Discuss Stine’s technique of short snappy sentences, short chapters, cliffhanger endings, and tongue-in-cheek humor. Find examples of each of these. Have students write a spooky story in this style, or let them find their own unique style. Students can explore how they can create new characters, write compelling dialogue, and try out a variety of voices: first-person, third-person, or free indirect style.